Howard crime rates decrease dramatically in first six months

August 04, 1998|By Del Quentin Wilber | Del Quentin Wilber,SUN STAFF

Even as Howard County and state officials prepare for county participation in the National Night Out Against Crime this evening, police yesterday released crime statistics for the first half of 1998 that show a dramatic decrease in nearly every offense.

Sgt. Morris Carroll, a police spokesman, attributed the decline to better enforcement.

"We're focusing on targeting those people we think are career criminals," Carroll said.

Robberies decreased 14.6 percent, from 89 during the first six months of 1997 to 76 this year. Aggravated assaults, burglaries, thefts and car thefts also dropped substantially.

Carroll said tonight's "block parties," held in virtually every community in the county, will highlight ways to prevent more crimes. County officials and Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend will visit the gatherings during the evening.

As part of the program, police encourage residents across the country to turn on their outside lights tonight and meet with neighbors to discuss better ways to fight crime in their neighborhoods.

Information: 410-313-4780.

Pub Date: 8/04/98

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